Saturday, October 6, 2012

Rescued Recipe: Haddock in Mushroom Sauce

To doubt everything or to believe everything are two equally convenient solutions; both dispense with the necessity of reflection. – Jerry Pournelle

This is a close approximation of classic canned mushroom soup and haddock. Except it's better.

There’s nothing that peeves me off more than “convenience” food. You know what I mean: pre-cut vegetables, pre-spiced meats, frozen meals, cans of soup… Groceries cut your vegetables up and charge you twice as much. It makes no sense...

As far as the rest, all of it is overpriced and most of it is bad for you in some way. I don’t care if it’s labeled heart healthy, blasted with Omega-3s, low-fat, high-octane, etc, etc, etc. It’s what’s NOT said wherein the danger lies. Hydrogenated oils, high levels of salt, food colourings…

Convenience food is killing us, literally. It even extends to our much loved “furry children.” There has been some news recently that a certain dried chicken breast product (I believe many of you know the product) may be causing kidney failure in dogs. 

Frying the mushrooms adds a lot of flavour.
They are distributed by a Canadian company but are made in China. The manufacturer has deemed it convenient (even though the packaging says “no added chemicals”) to add a derivative of glycerine that is toxic to dogs. Remember when melamine was found in some products as a whitener? Nowhere does it say on the treats package where the product originates.

Our recently relaxed packaging laws let companies get away with not showing where a product is made (not packaged) if the distributor doesn’t want to. Obviously not all ingredients need to be listed either. Thanks, Mr. Harper.

Just think what’s being added to human food... You absolutely cannot tell me that pre-made convenience food is as healthy as what you can make at home.

That’s why I dry my own sweet potato slices as snacks for Henry (our Bouvier) and make my own food as much as possible. I always make my own soup. You will not find one can of (insert brand name here) cream of (insert main ingredient here) in my pantry. Not one.

Can you tell I don’t like prepared foods? Especially when they're so easy to make. Canned soup is today's target.

This old chestnut of a recipe hails from the heady era of the 1950s when convenience was the word to live by. It was simplicity itself: add fish, soup and bake. Yum.

Mushroom soup is very easy to make at home, as are most soups. There’s really no excuse for buying it canned. If you ask me it’s tastier too. At least it is in this recipe.

I hope you try this. You’ll be glad you did.

Looks like the "real thing" meaning canned soup, doesn't it?

Haddock in Mushroom Sauce
Prep: 15 min  |  Bake: 30 min  |  Serves 4
1-1/2 lbs haddock, cut into large cubes
5 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion
1 lg clove garlic, minced
200 g sliced mushrooms
2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 cup grated parmesan
2 tbsp sherry
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Butter an 8”x8” baking dish with 1 tbsp of the butter. Cut the haddock into large pieces and arrange on the bottom of the pan. Try not to overlap too much if you can.

Melt the remaining 4 tbsp (1/4 cup) in a sauté pan or frying pan. Add the garlic and onion and sauté on medium high for 1 minute, until the garlic is fragrant.

Add the mushrooms and fry until they start to brown, about 5 minutes.

Once the mushrooms are starting to show some colour, sprinkle with the 2 tbsp of flour and mix well. Sauté for 1 minute.

Slowly add the milk and cook until the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the paprika, thyme, parmesan, sherry salt and pepper.

Don’t worry if the mixture looks too thick. It will thin to the right consistency when baked withthe fish.

Pour the mixture over the fish. Bake in the hot oven for 30 minutes, or until the fish is opaque and flakes easily.

Serve immediately with hot buttered rice on the side.


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  1. Oh dear, I just got some fresh haddock and pretty much decided on a chowder... but this is looking sooooo good! Canned soup in anything is wrong! (even though I grew up on it...)

  2. Oh Darrell, how guilty are you making me feel about my canned mushroom soup. This looks really good!

  3. It's not good for you. The percentages are your % of daily allowance.

    Serving Size 1/2 cup (126.0 g)
    Calories 100
    Calories from Fat 54
    Total Fat 6.0 g9%
    Saturated Fat 1.5g7 %
    Cholesterol 5mg 2%
    Sodium 870mg 36%
    Total Carbohydrates 9.0g 3%
    Dietary Fiber 2.0g 8%
    Sugars 1.0g
    Protein 1.0g